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the city is that Namakkal has made Tamil Nadu the countrys second-largest egg producing centre, Andhra Pradesh being the first. India is the third-largest chicken egg producing country in the word, next only to China and the US. (India produces around 75,000 million eggs a year.)Poultry farming in Namakkal became serious business in the early 1970s when a farmer started out with a 100 layer chicken egg farm in a thatched poultry shed. A few farmers started preparing their own feed as well. The production took off in the early 1980s when the breeders started rearing poultry under tiled roofs. Many aspiring entrepreneurs rushed to set up layer farms.Everything is automatedfrom breeding, feeding, watering and egg collection. This has resulted in closure of small farms. The number of farms has come down from more than 5,000 to around 1,000, but the total poultry population has increased from 7.5 million in 1991-92 to 54 million during 2012.Tamil Nadu accounts for 20% of eggs produced in India, of which 80% comes from the Namakkal region. However, the export of eggs and egg powder is highest from Tamil Nadu. Almost 95% of the export of shell eggs from India is from this state. More than 1,000 million eggs are exported, mostly to Afro-Asian countries, from India, of which 95% comes from Namakkal.Namakkal egg exporters have always been conscious of quality and make sure that uniformity in size is maintained, adds Kesavan. Separate batches are maintained for export and domestic markets. Larger-sized eggs produced by older chickens are offloaded in the domestic market.

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